US won’t support trade ban on polar bear products

(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The United States recently announced it will not support an
international ban on the trade of polar bear products at an upcoming
meeting on endangered species.

In a statement released last week, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service says it remains concerned about the commercial
use of polar bear hides, but it says it won’t encourage the ban.

The agency says in a statement it will instead focus on mitigating climate change impacts to polar bears as the largest threat to the long term survival of the species.

Inuit leaders and organizations from Canada have been lobbying the US for
the last year. Polar bear sport hunting is an important economic industry for the
Inuit economy.

Delegates from across the globe will meet in South Africa this fall at the
Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora, or CITES Conference.

The 2013 CITES Conference was the last time the
US attempted to ban the international trade of polar bear products.
Forty-two countries voted against the ban and 38 voted in favor of it.

Emily Russell is the voice of Alaska morning news as Alaska Public Media’s Morning News Host and Producer.

Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Emily moved to Alaska in 2012. She skied her way through three winters in Fairbanks, earning her Master’s degree in Northern Studies from UAF.

Emily’s career in radio started in Nome in 2015, reporting for KNOM on everything from subsistence whale harvests to housing shortages in Native villages. She then worked for KCAW in Sitka, finally seeing what all the fuss with Southeast, Alaska was all about.

Back on the road system, Emily is looking forward to driving her Subaru around the region to hike, hunt, fish and pick as many berries as possible. When she’s not talking into the mic in the morning, Emily can be found reporting from the peaks above Anchorage to the rivers around Southcentral.

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